August 31, 2009

Stunned by "City of Bones"

"The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones"
by Cassandra Clare


Synopsis: When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder -- much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It's hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing -- not even a smear of blood -- to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy?

This is Clary's first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It's also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace's world with a vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know. . . .

Exotic and gritty, exhilarating and utterly gripping, Cassandra Clare's ferociously entertaining fantasy takes readers on a wild ride that they will never want to end.

"City of Bones" is a wonderful book that delves into the depth of the supernatural world. The first installment of this series opened up a gateway for a world with demons and supernatural beings that I would have never imagined. Cassandra Clare did a wonderful job creating an alternative reality behind the one we see everyday. This book may have been violent, but it was not excessive and fit well with the content of the book. Clare managed to create an action packed book that still took the time to develop characters without detracting from the pace.

"City of Bones" is a very dense book with a lot of description, which makes it a book that I will want to reread in the future to see if there were hints to the plot that I missed on my first time through. I loved the book so much that I couldn't help but immediately start the next book in the series. "The Mortal Instruments" book series has a wonderful website that you can to by clicking here. There excerpts from the books you can read as well as information about Clare's upcoming projects. My favorite part of the website is the "deleted scenes" where you can find the original prologue for "City of Bones".

August 27, 2009

Thursday Update

I remember I came up with this in February and I cannot remember the last time I posted on of these... oh well! Better to get back on track late than never! I'll refresh your memory about the purpose of these posts: sometimes I want to share random information about stuff I'm watching or anything else that may be fun information other people want to know... but then I never end up posting it because it has nothing to do with books. These posts will allow me to share this information without letting it overtake the main purpose of this blog. I'll try to post these every week, but life sometimes gets in the way of these things.
This week I saw the movie "District 9". I wasn't really sure what to expect from the movie because I heard it was fantastic, but I didn't want to know too much about the plot. I like being surprised and people tend to give a little too much information away. Honestly the movie was awesome. It isn't the typical aliens attacking thriller movie a lot of people expect and that's why it was so great. There was a lot of depth behind the plot and the movie made the aliens sympathetic. It was almost like watching a movie about minorities being persecuted, but it was aliens. It had scenes that were hard to watch and a bit disturbing, but that's what made it so great. Those kind of scenes made the movie believable. It's a movie that definitely makes you think. I didn't even realize this movie was rated R until I looked it up right now because I ALWAYS get carded going into rated R movies and this time I didn't! I guess I finally look older than a high school student. So sorry if I just got some of you really excited about a movie you can't see.
Other exciting news... I joined a gym. I used to work out all the time, but then I got an internship and had no time. I also am trying to live on a really strict budget and my building has a gym in it, but it is way too hot to work out in and most of the machines are broken. Now I have a membership to Bally's, which I am loving so far. It isn't too expensive, but there aren't a lot of locations. I haven't taken any classes, but I hope to do so soon.

August 25, 2009

"Teaser Tuesdays"

"City of Ashes"
Cassandra Clare
Excerpt from page 37:

Bat and Amabel swarmed onto the bar; the boy spun, so quickly that his reflection in the mirror behind the bar seemed to blur. Maia saw him kick out, and then the two were groaning on the floor in a flurry of smashed glass.

I really enjoyed "City of Bones" and just couldn't wait to read the next book! I will have a review of "City of Bones" by the end of the week. Hopefully I will be able to follow up with a review of "City of Ashes" soon after!

Teaser Tuesdays was started by MizB on her blog. On Teaser Tuesdays participants are asked to grab the book they are currently reading and open it to a random page. Then fist two "teaser" sentences on that page between lines 7 and 12. The key is to entice readers to pick up the book without giving away any

August 24, 2009

"Twenty Boy Summer" is Tremendous

"Twenty Boy Summer"
Sarah Ockler


"Don't worry, Anna. I'll tell her, okay? Just let me think about the best way to do it."
"Promise me? Promise you won't say anything?"
"Don't worry." I laughed. "It's our secret, right?"

According to her best friend Frankie, twenty days in Zanzibar Bay is the perfect opportunity to have a summer fling, and if they meet one boy ever day, there's a pretty good chance Anna will find her first summer romance. Anna lightheartedly agrees to the game, but there's something she hasn't told Frankie---she's already had that kind of romance, and it was with Frankie's older brother, Matt, just before his tragic death one year ago.

Beautifully written and emotionally honest, this is a debut novel that explores what it truly means to love someone and what it means to grieve, and ultimately, how to make the most of every single moment this world has to offer.

I am going to be really honest here, so be prepared. When I first started "Twenty Boy Summer", I was kind of skeptical. The book had such fantastic reviews, but I was not sure if I was buying into the love story in the book. I kind of felt like it was a bit hokey and I wasn't sure what to think of the whole thing. I was pretty turned off by the title of the book and the whole idea of Frankie and Anna meeting twenty boys on their short vacations. After reading 50 pages of the book my opinion was starting to change and by the halfway point I was in love with the book. I think ended up reading most of the book in one day because I got so hooked on the story.

What made my opinion change so drastically was Ockler's character development and story telling. The things that annoyed me at the beginning of the book made complete sense by the end. I respect Ockler's decisions and understand them now that I finished the book. I think it probably drew me into the story more because I was discovering the meaning behind Frankie and Matt's relationship along with Frankie. The ending of the book ended perfectly and I am glad Ockler left things the way she did. She set out to tell one of the stories in her characters life and she did just that. Ockler did an amazing job at portraying emotions that are difficult to discuss. She made all her characters believable through their reactions to Matt's death and how they dealt with the grieving process. "Twenty Boy Summer" is not just about a loss of love, but it is also about friendship and family.

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys realistic fiction, especially Sarah Dessen fans. Check out the first two chapters here at Ockler's website. In her bio she shares some of her memories from high schools, many of which I can relate to.

August 23, 2009

On My Chair

This is where I post the books that I borrow from the library, buy, or I receive via mail in the last week.

"Shiver" by Maggie Stiefvater

For years, Grace has watched the wolves in the woods behind her house. One yellow-eyed wolf--her wolf--is a chilling presence she can't seem to live without. Meanwhile, Sam has lived two lives: In winter, the frozen woods, the protection of the pack, and the silent company of a fearless girl. In summer, a few precious months of being human . . . until the cold makes him shift back again.

Now, Grace meets a yellow-eyed boy whose familiarity takes her breath away. It's her wolf. It has to be. But as winter nears, Sam must fight to stay human--or risk losing himself, and Grace, forever.

I have been hearing so many fantastic things about this great book that I couldn't help but borrow it! I can't wait to get started on this one.
This meme (In My Mailbox) is brought to you by Kristi's (The Story Siren)

August 16, 2009

On My Chair

This is where I post the books that I borrow from the library, buy, or I receive via mail in the last week.

"Hurry Down Sunshine"
by: Michael Greenberg

Hurry Down Sunshine
tells the story of the extraordinary summer when, at the age of fifteen, Michael Greenberg’s daughter was struck mad. It begins with Sally’s visionary crack-up on the streets of Greenwich Village, and continues, among other places, in the out-of-time world of a Manhattan psychiatric ward during the city’s most sweltering months. "I feel like I’m traveling and traveling with nowhere to go back to," Sally says in a burst of lucidity while hurtling away toward some place her father could not dream of or imagine. Hurry Down Sunshine is the chronicle of that journey, and its effect on Sally and those closest to her–her brother and grandmother, her mother and stepmother, and, not least of all, the author himself. Among Greenberg’s unforgettable gallery of characters are an unconventional psychiatrist, an Orthodox Jewish patient, a manic classics professor, a movie producer, and a landlord with literary dreams. Unsentimental, nuanced, and deeply humane, Hurry Down Sunshine holds the reader in a mesmerizing state of suspension between the mundane and the transcendent.

Undiscovered Gyrl
by: Allison Burnett

Only on the internet can you have so many friends and be so lonely.

Beautiful, wild, funny, and lost, Katie Kampenfelt is taking a year off before college to find her passion. Ambitious in her own way, Katie intends to do more than just smoke weed with her boyfriend, Rory, and work at the bookstore. She plans to seduce Dan, a thirty-two-year-old film professor.

Katie chronicles her adventures in an anonymous blog, telling strangers her innermost desires, shames, and thrills. But when Dan stops taking her calls, when her alcoholic father suffers a terrible fall, and when she finds herself drawn into a dangerous new relationship, Katie's fearless narrative begins to crack, and dark pieces of her past emerge.

Sexually frank, often heartbreaking, and bursting with devilish humor, Undiscovered Gyrl is an extraordinarily accomplished novel of identity, voyeurism, and deceit.

I picked up these ARCs at work which was pretty exciting. I know that they aren't actually teen books, but they both deal with teen characters. I'll be sure to add information about content once I finish the books. They both sound really interesting!

This meme (In My Mailbox) is brought to you by Kristi's (The Story Siren)

August 14, 2009

Contest: So Many Books!

Princess Bookie is having a huge contest on her blog! She is giving away lots of FANTASTIC books! She is also throwing in a few surprises as well. Find out more by clicking here. The contest ends on August 24th, so hurry over to enter!

August 11, 2009

Teaser Tuesday

"City of Bones"
Cassandra Clare
Excerpt from page 45:

Just promise me you won't come home. Go to Simon's and call Luke- tell him that he's found me-" Her words were drowned out by a heavy crash like splintering wood.

Teaser Tuesdays was started by MizB on her blog. On Teaser Tuesdays participants are asked to grab the book they are currently reading and open it to a random page. Then fist two "teaser" sentences on that page between lines 7 and 12. The key is to entice readers to pick up the book without giving away any spoilers.

August 3, 2009

Alex Flinn


Synopsis: I am a beast.

A beast. Not quite wolf or bear, gorilla or dog but a horrible new creature who walks upright—a creature with fangs and claws and hair springing from every pore. I am a monster.

You think I'm talking fairy tales? No way. The place is New York City. The time is now. It's no deformity, no disease. And I'll stay this way forever—ruined—unless I can break the spell.

Yes, the spell, the one the witch in my English class cast on me. Why did she turn me into a beast who hides by day and prowls by night? I'll tell you. I'll tell you how I used to be Kyle Kingsbury, the guy you wished you were, with money, perfect looks, and the perfect life. And then, I'll tell you how I became perfectly . . . beastly.

I picked up Beastly because I loved the cover art and the concept of a modern day Beauty and the Beast sounded intriguing. I wasn't sure what to expect, but I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. Beastly was a really great book. I expected it to be funny, but it delivered so much more. Even though Kyle was a total jerk at the beginning of the book, Flinn did a great job of showing you glimpses into Kyle's personality that made you root for him even at his worst. The story was woven well from start to finish. It may have been a bit predictable (not in the way that it is a remake so most of the plot points are the same), but that didn't detract from the enjoyment at all. I have to say that I haven't read the original story of "Beauty and the Beast', so I can't compare it to that; however, it was extraordinarily close to the Disney version, of course it didn't have the singing furniture. Also, the book is told through the Beasts perspective, which is different from most versions. I think Flinn create a fantastic adaptation that still carries her own voice, but stays true to the original story.

I plan on picking up more of Flinn's books in the future. I wonder if Flinn plans on using any of the other fairytale characters introduced in "Beastly" for other novels. She has written a book called "A Kiss in Time" where sleeping beauty awakens in modern day. It sounds really cute and funny... I think that will be my next Flinn read. If you want to read an excerpt from "Beastly" then just go here, or click here for an excerpt from "A Kiss in Time".

August 2, 2009

Contest: "My Soul to Take"

I just heard about a great contest that I wanted to let you guys know about. "Fantastic Book Review" is having a contest for "My Soul to Take"! This book is getting great reviews and sounds really unique. Click here to enter to win! Contest ends at midnight on August 15th, so enter soon!